Legg-Calves-Perthes Disease


Legg-Calves-Perthes Disesae (LCPD), or simply known as Perthes disease, is a disorder of the hip that affects children, usually between the ages of 4 and 10.  It usually involves one hip, although it can occur on both sides in some children.  It occurs more commonly in boys than girls.

The underlying cause of Legg-Calves-Perthes Disease is not clearly known.  It may occur due to inadequate blood supply to ball of the hip joint (femoral head) which leads to death of the bone.  Over the course of several months, the blood supply to the bone tissue and new bone cells gradually replace the dead bone over 2-3 years.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Walking with a painless limp

  • Pain or stiffness in the hip, groin, thigh or knee

  • Shortening of leg or unequal leg length

  • Wasting of thigh muscle

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to keep the femoral head centered in the socket (acetabulum).  Initial treatment is nonsurgical consisting of rest, activity restrictions, anti-inflammatory medications, casting, bracing, and physical therapy.  If nonsurgical treatments don’t work, you may need surgery.  Surgery involves lengthening a groin muscle or reshaping the pelvis (osteotomy) depending on the severity of the condition and the shape of the femoral head